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Global events will have big impact for next five years





THE UK real estate market continues to face many challenges, but what are they?

Jo Bullard is a partner in real estate at Gardner Leader
Jo Bullard is a partner in real estate at Gardner Leader

Economic uncertainty

Economic fluctuations and global events are likely to continue to impact the real estate market for the next five years.

These include Brexit-related uncertainties and shifts in global economic conditions, not helped by higher interest rates and inflation.

All of these factors can impact demand, investor confidence and the availability of affordable finance.

Technological disruption

The advancement of technology continues to reshape the real estate landscape.

The rise of e-commerce has already transformed retail spaces, leading to a growing demand for flexible and digitally-enabled environments.

Similarly, remote-working trends accelerated by the pandemic, question the future of office space, with increasing demand for adaptive design and technology integration.

Large offices are no longer in demand unless in prime locations and business hubs are gaining in popularity.

Regulatory changes and sustainability

Regulatory shifts have also affected real estate investment and development opportunities.

Changes in legislation (such as the Building Safety Act) and green-building practices have required property owners to adapt accordingly.

They need to budget for costly upgrades to existing property or implementing sustainable design and build practices for new builds to ensure energy efficiency compliance.

Pandemic fall-out

The aftermath of Covid continues to impact the UK real estate market.

The percentage of empty office space remains high as companies are forced to reassess their requirements and embrace staff demand for hybrid working arrangements.

Retailers are having to continue to grapple with changing consumer preferences and the ever-increasing demand for online shopping and the convenience this provides.

While out-of-town retail parks are arguably managing to compete with the online retail market, local High Street retailers continue to struggle with the lack of footfall, as well as having to pay often crippling rents and business rates.

The hospitality sector is also not immune to these challenges, as consumer demand has decreased in recent years, due to less disposable income to spend on eg gym memberships, eating out and holidays.

Embracing these challenges

Navigating these challenges will require commercial landlords to think creatively in how to attract/retain tenants and tenants will need to negotiate hard when agreeing new lease terms or when re-gearing their current lease arrangements.

Landlords will also need to consider how best to utilise available rental space and consider repurposing their buildings for mixed/varied uses to attract a larger tenant market.

Property stakeholders must adopt a proactive approach and identify emerging trends; embrace technological innovations to enhance property value and tenant experiences and collaborate across different sectors to drive sustainability, growth and resilience.



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